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Wellness Wednesday: Do what's best for you

Wellness Wednesday: On Doing What’s Best For You

People can be judgmental during the holidays, especially when it comes to food. Sometimes you just have to do what’s best for you.

Oh hi! I haven’t written a Wellness Wednesday in FOREVER. So sorry. Sometimes the topics come to me when I’m least expecting them to. I was actually planning on putting this in a recipe post, but decided it was too specific to be bogged down by gorgeous photos of avocados.

Today is all about doing what’s best for you regarding food during the holiday season (or in general). As always, I LOVE hearing from you guys, so feel free to leave a comment after you read the post. xo!

blueberry muffins in a stack

healthy blueberry muffins — coming soon!

Now let me go on a mini rant for a second, only because I read a food blog recently that preached about indulging in heavy foods during the holidays and also brought down my love for baking and cooking with wholesome, clean ingredients. Basically it went on about how we shouldn’t lighten up desserts or make them ‘clean’ or ‘skinny’, and also how we should say yes to most indulgent food during this time of year. While I can appreciate opinions, I don’t appreciate people believing that their way is the only way. Or the best way. Especially when it comes to food. And I say this for a variety of reasons.

Have you ever hear people tell you to just go ahead and indulge because it’s the holidays? From large frappucinos and baskets of french fries to ice cream and extra Christmas cookies; people will tell you to have more and more because they feel it’s justified during the holiday season.

I don’t know about you, but I find that I just can’t say yes to everything this time of year. Maybe you feel this way too? Or maybe you don’t. But you see, my body just doesn’t work in a way that allows me to indulge on a consistent basis, even if it’s for a short amount of time. If I start indulging from November through December, or even accept most of the goodies offered to me from friends and family, I notice a difference in the ways my clothes fit, my confidence, energy and mood. And it’s not only that, it’s the fact that once I start indulging, getting myself off the heavy food train can be personally difficult.

monique in the snow

Be happy with who you are

I’m not one of those people who has ever known the true art of moderation when it comes to food. If you know this feeling, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that I only have moderation because I practice balanced eating every single day. Balanced healthy eating is a choice, one that doesn’t come natural to me and probably never will. It took me a long time to learn how to put my fork down when I was satisfied instead of when I was completely stuffed beyond belief.

Food is my weakness and so for that reason (and because I’m incredibly passionate about nutrition), I choose to make healthy choices (or at least try to make healthier choices.) And hey, that’s okay! I have every ounce of love and self-acceptance for myself to know that’s who I am. That’s who I’ll always be.

inspirational quote

photo via Pinterest

So anyway, when I read this profound food statement judging us so called clean eaters, it really annoyed me. Mostly because it called out those of us who really love and ENJOY eating nutritious food. It isn’t because we’re on diets or because we hate fat or butter or sugar, it’s simply because this is our way of life. For some of us, it’s our passion. We’re not perfect eaters by any means.

Not only that, but many of us who struggle with food, know that the struggle is REAL. We make food with clean ingredients because we actually love to eat and we love to feel good about what we eat. None of this is about limiting food choices or deprivation (because we love to have cookies too!), it’s about making choices to eat better and in turn, having a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Contrary to some beliefs, good food isn’t just indulgent, rich food; good food can be real, healthy food too! You feel me with the labeling issue here? Some of the best tasting desserts I’ve ever had have been deemed ‘healthy’ and I don’t mind one bit. 

Good tasting food can be whatever you want it to be.

eggs, bacon, and avocado toast on two plates

Breakfast with Tony

Of course, we know that food can hold so much more than just nutritional value. Sometimes food is good because it reminds us of a loved one or of home during a certain time of year. And sometimes food is good because it can be pleasureful (like ice cream!). And as much as I appreciate the weekly indulgence more than you know, I’m never about bringing someone else down due to their food choices… whatever those may be. I think it’s important to remember that all of us have complexities towards food, and we’re unique because of it.

Of course you’re going to indulge more during the holidays, but don’t feel pressured to go overboard by anyone. Do have flexibility at family gatherings and parties, but above all do what you know is going to make you feel good. For me, that might mean filling my plate with mostly veggies and then enjoying a cookie or two at the end of the evening. Sometimes, however, it means walking away from the kitchen for the night because I had a few too many scoops of pasta and am too stuffed to say yes to my aunt’s delicious looking pie.

Remember, you can still find joy in feasting on other things in your life, besides food. I know I always say this, but it’s true.

So while this rant isn’t about anyone being right or wrong, it’s about accepting others and remembering not to judge — especially during this time of year. I accept that you want to make a cake and eat it (yummm!), and you accept that I want to have chickpea blondies because they make me happy.

two toasts on a plate

Anyway, there’s the mini rant for you. I didn’t really intend for that to happen, but sometimes my mind just spits out all of my feelings in words.

I want to hear your thoughts below! 

How do you stay balanced during the holiday season and do what’s best for you?

Do you ever feel judged or pressured because you actually enjoy eating healthy?

Also, if you have ANY requests for Wellness Wednesday topics, please leave them below or feel free to email me at ambitiouskitchen {at} gmail {dot} com.

Have a great rest of the week! xoxo.

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